Government Employee

Central govt grants minority status to Jain community

Central govt grants minority status to Jain community

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS): The Jain community was Monday granted minority status by the central government which will enable them to avail benefits in government schemes and programmes.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting here, an official release here said.

The decision comes a day after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi took up this issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A group of Jains had met Rahul Gandhi Sunday to press for their long-standing demand for minority status and he then spoke to the prime minister.

Once recognized as a minority, the around 50 lakh strong community would get a share in central funds earmarked for welfare programmes and scholarships for minorities. They can also manage and administer their own educational institutions.

The community already has minority status in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan but the new decision extends this across the country

NEW DELHI: The UPA government on Monday accorded minority status to the Jain community. The Union Cabinet cleared the proposal just a day after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the same demand.

The meeting between the two took place soon after a group of leaders of the Jain Community met Gandhi, seeking minority status for their community. The decision will make the Jain community entitled to avail benefits in government schemes and pro ..

 

Overview of Central Government Employees

The central government periodically constitutes a Pay Commission, to evaluate and recommend revisions of salaries and pensions, for its employees.  Recently, the Seventh Central Pay Commission has made recommendations that will apply to 33 lakh central government employees, in addition to 14 lakh armed forces and 52 lakh pensioners.  In this context, we present an overview of central government employees and pensioners.

Central government employs 8.5% of organised workforce; Armed forces biggest employer

Sources: Economic Survey of India; PRS.

*Provisional data

Sources: Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission; PRS.

*Includes Central Armed Police Forces

**Data for Defence (Military) not available for 2006

  • Central government share in organised sector employment has gradually decreased over the past 15 years. In 2012, central government employed 8.5% of the organised workforce.  This was a decline of about 4%, from 12.4% in 1994.
     
  • In 2014, the central government had 47 lakh employees, including 14 lakh armed forces. The military constituted 30% of the workforce, followed by Railways with a 28% share in employees.  Between 2006 and 2014, all ministries with the exception of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), witnessed a decrease in employees.  The number of MHA employees (including the paramilitary forces) went up by 32%, during this period.

89% of all employees belong to Group C; One in five central government positions is vacant

Sources: Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission; PRS.

Sources: Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission; PRS.

*Includes Central Armed Police Forces

  • The majority of government employees belong to Group C, with a share of 88.7%, followed by Group B with 8.5% and Group A with the least employees at 2.8%. Group A employees typically take up higher administrative positions in the government, with Group B workers acting as middle management and Group C employees providing assistance.
     
  • The central government (excluding armed forces) had a vacancy of 18.5%, with 7.47 lakh vacant positions. The revenue department had the largest proportion of vacancy, at 45% of sanctioned strength, whereas, the highest number of vacant positions was in the Railways, with 2.35 lakh unfilled jobs.

Defence personnel constitute largest share among pensioners, followed by the railways

Sources: Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission; PRS.

Sources: Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission; PRS.

  • The total number of central government pensioners as of January 2014, was 51.96 lakh. Defence personnel constituted 46.5% of the total pensioners, followed by the railways with a share of 26.5%.  The large proportion of defence personnel among pensioners may be due to the early retirement age of defence services personnel as compared to other government departments.
     
  • The expenditure on pension was Rs 1,04,000 crore in 2013-14. Defence personnel, with 46% of all pensioners, received the largest share of 44% out of the pension expenditure.  This was followed by the civil employees, who constituted 21% of all pensioners and received 28% of pension expenditure.

Out of total expenditure, 7.8% was spent on salaries and 4.6% on pensions

Sources: Indian Public Finance Statistics, Ministry of Finance; PRS.

Note: Dotted lines indicate year of Pay Commission Report submission. * 2013-14 (Revised Estimates), and 2014-15 ( Budget Estimates)

  • In 2014-15, the central government is expected to spend 7.8% of its total expenditure on salaries, and 4.6% on pensions. Over the last two decades, the expenditure on salaries and pensions witnessed a spike after the 5th and 6th Pay Commission recommendations were implemented in 1997-98 and 2008-09 respectively.

The minority status accorded to Jain community by the Union government is expected to benefit a number of students who come from economically weaker sections, especially in rural areas in the State.

Now, Jain students whose family’s annual income is less than Rs. 2.5 lakh are eligible for scholarship given by the State government, which recognises Jains as minority community.

But with national minority status accorded by Union government, this limit goes up to Rs. 4.5 lakh, under Centrally-sponsored scholarships.

“One of the biggest benefits from the minority status will be in the education sector both for students as well institutions run by Jains. Students from our community will now have access to a number of Central scholarships, which were hitherto not available to us,” said Jitendra Jain, president of Karnataka Jain Association.

According to him, the largest Jain pocket is found in Belgaum district that has nearly half of the total Jain population in the State, besides a sizeable population in the rural areas in Mysore, Hassan, Bijapur, Bagalkot and Gulbarga districts.

“Most of them are agriculture labourers or marginal land holders. We expect minority status to help this section of the Jain community,” he said.

Further, educational institutions managed by Jains will be recognised as minority institutions where up to 50 per cent of seats are reserved for community members. However, the reservation policy does not apply in the appointment of faculty members.

Though minority institutions benefit community students, there are, however, only two engineering colleges — one in Shravanabelogola and the other in Bangalore, while a medical college is yet to be established. Besides in Bangalore, educational institutions are run by Jains in Belgaum and Hassan districts.

Community help

“Till now, the Jain community has been pitching in with financial aid for needy students and it will continue to do so. The minority status will open up new avenues for students,” said chairman of Jain Coordination Committee Sajjan Raj Mehta.

“The needy students receive up to 40 per cent of their educational expenses from various organisations such as the Jain International Trade Organisations and the Jain Yuva Sanghatane Seva Trust,” he added.

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